College basketball cognoscenti have had an eye on Indianapolis’ own Butler University for a while now. The Bulldogs have been a mighty mouse under sixth-year head coach Todd Lickliter, dominating the Horizon League with annual 20-win seasons, and handing out Gonzaga-esque upsets in the NCAA tournament.
Even this recent history of being way too big for their britches didn’t prepare anyone for Butler’s blazing start to the 2006-2007 season. Picked to provide some frisky cannon fodder in the Preseason NIT, Butler’s cagers ripped off monster win after monster win, mowing down big names like Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee, and Gonzaga on their way to the title. They then had to fly back home and play Kent State with less than a day’s rest, and won that game in double OT. They are undefeated and belatedly cracked the top 25 this week. The best part? The Horizon League preseason poll picked the mighty Bulldogs to finish sixth in the conference. Nice guess, Nostradamus.
Having practically sewed up a tournament bid in November, the Bulldogs must now slog through a conference schedule filled with warm puppy chow: Detroit, Youngstown State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ad nauseum. A December game against Purdue is their sole remaining big-time challenge until the NCAAs. Since we’re not likely to see them on TV for a while despite that stunning resume, let’s take a few moments to meet the Butler Bulldogs:
- Is a morose man who has only smiled in public once, after watching Rick Majerus throw up in the parking lot of an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet restaurant
- Is getting pretty tired of the “Lickliter? I hardly know her!” jokes
- Has worked tirelessly to clear his name from the federal no-fly list after coaching a partial season for the Anh Ahli Sports Club of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- Imagines his team would get more national press if Jason Whitlock had gone to Butler instead of Ball State
- Transferred to Butler from Clemson after discovering that 99% of his fellow students couldn’t find his home country of Slovakia even after being spotted the correct continent
- Has a standing invitation to turn pro after this season as place kicker for the Colts
- Learned English by watching Schoolhouse Rock and Falcon Crest exclusively
- Starred at Philadelphia’s prestigious Franklin Learning Center, but people still assume he’s dumb, thanks to TV ads for the Sylvan Learning Center
- Transferred to Butler from Towson University after discovering that his classmates couldn’t find Maryland on a map even after he pointed to it
- Had to sit out a season after transferring, but kept himself sharp by dodging cars with Pacers star Stephen Jackson
- Thinks people compare him to Kirk Hinrich because of his NBA-level game, instead of his look
- Was originally brought to Butler on a mascot scholarship. Who knew the kid could play?
- Once shot a man just for snoring too loud!
- Really looking forward to playing pro ball in Uzbekistan next year. Has heard the women are unbelievable
- loves unicorns
- Determined to make the 2007 NCAA All-Academic team by incorporating test answers into the tribal tattoo on his arm
- Asked to borrow a copy of coach Lickliter’s Hey Soul Classics, but was told that he must buy his own
- Has only scored 37 points in seven games for a 5.3 scoring average. How does he keep his starting job? Here’s a clue:
- Is tall
- Is Caucasian
- Hails from the Land of Lincoln!
Now, if you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that I am lazy, and love a recurring idea that can carry me through sports season. And time is ticking on the “Porn Name All-Stars” gravy train. So get ready to meet more mid-major surprises in future editions of “Who The Hell Are…”!
I kid because I love here at Extrapolater. However, I do have a site dedicated to getting the straight dope about colleges across America, called College Rule Notebook. If you’d like to set me straight, take the quick survey. We’ll dig up links & photos to illustrate your answers.